September 18, 2008

Anwar requests for emergency parliamentary session

Anwar Ibrahim today calls for an emergency session of Parliament to be convened before 23 September. This is for the purpose of deliberating a motion of censure against the PM.

A letter signed by him and leaders of DAP and PAS has been sent to the PM on this matter.

Press Statement by Anwar Ibrahim

Today Pakatan Rakyat leaders have submitted a letter to the Prime Minister requesting him to call an emergency session of Parliament to deliberate a motion of censure against the leadership of YAB Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi no later than Tuesday 23 September 2008.

This is in accordance with Order 11(3) of the Standing Orders of Parliament and warrants an immediate response given the gravity of today’s political impasse. A delay in his response would be interpreted as nothing short of a further sabotage of the democratic process and abuse of Executive Power.

The Prime Minister’s haggling on the syntax of our first letter is puerile at best. The intent of our meeting as described in that letter was clearly to discuss the future course of the nation’s leadership – though in deference to his position and in accordance with acceptable norms we remain considerate and polite in our approach.

I find the Prime Minister’s comment about me in his press conference yesterday to be reckless and irresponsible in light of the disastrous outcome of last Friday’s ISA raids.

He has conflated what is essentially an issue of democracy, freedom and the rule of law with national security. The use of the ISA to harass and detain duly elected political opponents is a grave transgression of the law and its continued use would further erode confidence in the current government and exacerbate political instability.

As the incumbent Prime Minister actively holding office and exercising all Executive powers, and as the outgoing Finance Minister, we hold him fully accountable for the current political turmoil and mismanagement of the nation’s economy. His accusation that I have had an adverse impact on the nation’s economy is entirely without basis.

I have met with the key fund managers in the region, representing over USD 1 trillion in assets, and on multiple occasions they were unanimously in support of comprehensive reforms in Malaysia including judicial independence, a free media, a more professional police force and anti-corruption agency, investor friendly laws and assurances on the non-interference of politicians in the governance of Bank Negara. These are policies Pakatan Rakyat has promised to implement– and initiatives that the current administration has done virtually nothing to advance since March 8th.

Leader of Opposition
De-facto leader, Keadilan


Anwar demands no-confidence vote against PM by next Tuesday
By Shannon Teoh - Malaysia Insider

PETALING JAYA, Sept 18 — Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim wants Parliament to convene by Sept 23 for him to table a vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

He said that a letter signed by him, the DAP's Lim Kit Siang and Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, representing the Pakatan Rakyat alliance, had been sent to the PM to request him to convene Parliament by next Tuesday.

"We have told him we have the numbers. If he wants the details and doesn't believe me, then convene the emergency sitting," he told reporters at PKR headquarters here today.

He insisted it was critical for the PM to respond as "it is important to think of the nation and not themselves. They are a minority government, the majority is with us.

"You can ask him this evening for his response," referring to Abdullah's usual press conference after the Umno supreme council meeting later today.

The supreme council has a 3pm meeting scheduled today.

He added that if Abdullah refused their request, the PR leadership will meet again.

Anwar did not rule out the possibility that the opposition alliance would then seek an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

When asked why the PR alliance was not prepared to wait until Oct 13, when Parliament is scheduled to be in session again, he cited as his reasoning the current "state of flux, volatility, arrests, ISA, economic threats, switching portfolios midstream, uncertainty in Umno supreme council meetings" and asked: "How long can you wait?"

The PKR de facto chief rebutted Abdullah's statements yesterday, in which the PM accused Anwar of misleading the public when he claimed to have to have written to the PM to ask for a smooth transfer of power.

"The haggling over the syntax of our first letter is puerile at best," he said, adding that "in deference to his position, we remain considerate and polite in our approach."

He also called Abdullah reckless and irresponsible for saying he was a threat to the economy and security of the country.


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